Now that I've seen them twice, they feel a lot like England to me, but maybe with a touch more quality. They seem to lack cohesion and seem 'extremely' content to win 1-0 or get the draw or really do anything that doesn't make them go all out for 90 full minutes because fuck that's a long time and it's hot ffs.
I feel like we can start to group teams into tiers together too.
1. Belgium/Italy - Good, consistent offense, will put up at least one to two goals a game and you don't really worry that giving up a goal will somehow do them in.
2. France/Germany/Netherlands - Good, not quite consistent yet, still finding their footing. Should probably win, and should definitely score once, but also may give up one going the other way so laying 1.5 with them is a big ask.
3. England/Spain/Portugal - Should be good, but not consistent. Eng/Spain: Too slow developing on offense so if you just fall back and clog up the passing lanes they sort of throw up their hands like, 'Welp, we definitely didn't plan for that, now what do we do?' Meanwhile Portugal looks like a team you can definitely count on for at least a goal—which is good! But they also look like a team that is willing to out-chance you—this is bad! They feel like their strategy is, 'Look, we're going to take two chances for every one we give you, and at the end of the game, we'll score 2+ and you'll score one and it will be all good.' Meanwhile, you run into a team with some dudes who can finish and, welp, suddenly it's 4-2 the other way.
I then want to find a place for Switzerland because I like them but have no idea what to do with them.
Also, I think Russia is weak and I'm hopeful that they get a draw against someone who came to play in the knockouts. Because I think they may fold and fold hard.
I didn't see France/Hungary today, so maybe I'm missing something... but I can't imagine France not being in the first tier...the team is just ridiculously loaded all around.
I would be more likely to put Belgium on the second tier...sort of lucky imo that Denmark minus Eriksen didn't get two, but that's a bit besides the point...Denayer is no Kompany and the backline looks very shaky...
I'm not sure I would put Germany on a separate tier from England...I think Portugal's backline made Germany's attack look a lot better than it is and Germany's defending is a constant crisis...Hummels recalled from retirement out of desperation, Rüdiger mistake-prone at times, notoriously deficient at full-back...I do think Süle with his combo of pace and size could be interesting if he continues to see time.....I think mostly Germany's defense and England's problems in chance creation make them sort of equal
I think the Dutchies separate themselves talent-wise from Germany/England...i'm not sure I like any trainer from 2 on down, except I have more confidence in Jogi's tactical ability...always have since he adjusted Philipp Lamb's position early two World Cups ago. Did think putting Özil in the starting lineup vs. Korea was idiotic.
by what you wrote cavs i was expecting you had NED higher, the manager will still hold them back a ton and i still worry a lot about their ability to score as Memphis/Weghorst is not a proven combination and they play separately when on the pitch together
Don't want to overreact too much to GER performance yesterday, I do support the idea that Portugal are nowhere near the contenders list because they're an offensive side trying to play for a defensive manager and as a result nothing is working